ROLAND GARROS 2012
Djokovic Beats Gutsy Kavcic For Third Round Berth; DelPo Sets Up Cilic Clash
by ATP Staff|
Top seed Novak Djokovic advanced to the Roland Garros third round on Wednesday after he beat Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia 6-0, 6-4, 6-4. It extended his winning streak to 23 matches at major championships.
Djokovic, 25, who was runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters and Internazionali BNL d'Italia clay-court tournaments, improved to a 32-5 season record after hitting five aces and 41 winners past Kavcic in the pair's second meeting. Kavcic committed 21 unforced errors, 13 fewer than Djokovic.
"He was defending really well in the second and third sets, especially in the second," said Djokovic. "I gave him the opportunity to come back to the match after a perfect first set, first seven games. Of course I didn't underestimate my opponent today. I expected him to fight. I expected him to come back. He didn't have anything to lose, and he showed his quality and it was a really, really great second and third set.
"I'm happy with the game overall. I think everything was working really well. I'm feeling better and better every match."
The World No. 1 will next play France's Nicolas Devilder, who defeated Michael Berrer of Germany 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 16 minutes. "I'm very happy to advance to the third round because obviously this is the first time in a Grand Slam," said Devilder. "So being able to experience this after three difficult years with many injuries, obviously that's very nice. I'm very happy. I'm going to play Djokovic in the next round. Well, what better could I have wished for?"
Djokovic is bidding to win his first Roland Garros title and become the first player to hold all four majors since Rod Laver in 1969. By winning the title in Paris, the Serbian would also become the eighth man to complete a career Grand Slam.
Ninth seed Juan Martin del Potro, who is making his sixth appearance, battled past Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-4 in three hours and 29 minutes on Court 2. Del Potro won 29 of Roger-Vasselin's 54 second service points and hit 52 winners overall.
"It was a very tight match," said Roger-Vasselin. "Del Potro was slightly stronger than I was today. I was within inches of a big achievement. If I had won the second set. Maybe I put a bit of pressure on myself, I don't know. I played my match. I'm rather happy with my match. I did what I could."
Del Potro admitted, "I knew from the outset that I could win this match, I could break him. I knew that I could change the situation at any moment." When asked about his next opponent, Marin Cilic, the Argentine said, "We know one another well, very well. The matches we play are always very difficult matches. The way he plays tennis is similar to my way of playing tennis. He's really an attacker. He's really someone who serves well. He's dangerous. It's going to be tough."
Cilic, the No. 21 seed, knocked out the 2003 champion and former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-3 in two hours and 12 minutes. Cilic's best performance came in 2009 and 2010 when he advanced to the fourth round. The Croatian is now two match wins away from 200 victories (198-123 lifetime).